Immigration reform bill needed in the Build Back Better bill
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make life better for America’s families and boost our economy. Whether you have small kids or elderly family members, the positive impact of the Build Back Better Act will be significant. But none of these investments will be successful if Congress fails to provide lasting protections for immigrants in the legislation it passes.
Cutting the cost of child care in half and making free preschool available to all 3- and 4-year-olds won’t be successful unless we protect the roughly 2 million immigrants who are early childhood educators. Our investment to make home-based care more available to seniors and people with disabilities won’t succeed unless we ensure lasting protections for immigrant workers, including the 38% of home health aides who are immigrants.
Creating lasting protections for immigrants won’t just help our care infrastructure succeed, it will boost our economy. Our GDP could grow by $1.5 trillion, we’ll create 400,000 new jobs and increase wages for all American workers. No wonder a recent poll found overwhelming bipartisan support for providing Dreamers and other long-settled, undocumented immigrants the ability to earn work permits. Our community and our country can’t continue our Covid-19 recovery without immigrants, either. Immigration reform needs to be a part of the Build Back Better Act.
Maria Perez, Watsonville
The news is full of the discussion in Congress over stimulus packages. It seems that they have all forgotten Econ 101 or Macroeconomics. Why and when do you use economic stimulus and for how long? This is what you learn in class. When the economy is sluggish and you want to stimulate growth, then stimulus has been used to get the economy energized. This comes with a warning that if you overstimulate the economy, then there is excessive buying followed by a downturn, action-reaction. So, it is important to use stimulus as a short-term stimulator, not a long-term one. Secondly, what if one part of the economy is sluggish and the rest is OK? Do you try to stimulate the whole economy or just the part that is sluggish? Easy answer, stimulate only the sluggish part lest you cause a downturn later in the healthy economy from overstimulation. Congress has two stimulus plans: infrastructure and social. Neither addresses the issue today; Covid-19 has affected mostly the service sectors because people have stayed at home and travel little. The infrastructure stimulus should have been used in 2008-09 when the building trade’s workers were affected by the housing crisis and were out of work. This trickled down to the service industry. Doing infrastructure then would have been the preferred stimulus, put the building tradespeople back to work and that solves the service industry too. The best stimulus today is one that reduces the Covid-19 impact, get everyone vaccinated, wearing masks and exercising social distancing. The economy would spring back to life and stimulus would not be needed. A doctor does not treat a medical problem with candy bars; he goes after the root causes, which is what Congress should do.
Bill Beecher, Aptos
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